Warrior of Truth

Author: Knife Hand <d_lutke[at]hotmail.com>

Feedback: Constructive feedback appreciated, flames unappreciated

Spoilers: Fifth series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and up to the Ninth Book of the Wheel of Time Series

Rating: R

Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Wheel of Time. I would buy them but I am broke. I do own the 'new Scoobies', so ask if you want to use them.

Summary: Xander is missing after the battle with Glory and returns several years later a changed man. Crossover with Wheel of Time. (Buffy series of events)

AN: Contains spoilers for Wheel of Time series; however knowledge of the series is not needed as important details will be included. Series 6 events are ignored. This is the Buffy series of events, for the Wheel of Time series of events, read Asha'man Harris

AN2: Apologies about the break formatting, FF.net did it, not me.

Battle against Glory at her tower, 2001

Xander watched as Spike climbed the tower, trying to reach Dawn, feeling helpless. When Spike was half way up the tower Xander came to a decision. He rose from behind the forklift that the Scoobies were using as cover and ran up the tower, he had to help, even if it did not matter, he had to try. As he neared the top, his heart sank when he saw Spike fall, thrown off by Doc.

As he climbed he grabbed a pipe, figuring any weapon was better than none. Without stopping at the top, Xander advanced on Doc, who had already cut Dawn, with her blood dripping to open the portal. Before Doc could turn, Xander savagely hit him over the head with the pipe, causing him to fall. Xander quickly untied Dawn's ropes and moved her away from the edge, while she struggled to get free of his grasp.

"Let me go, Xander. I have to jump." Dawn told him. "It needs the blood."

Xander saw Buffy running up the stairs of the tower and knew that she would jump for Dawn, and he was just as committed but for a second he did not think he could saver one of them, and then he remembered Adam. Before Dawn was made human, Xander, Giles, Willow and Buffy combined their essences, their souls, to defeat the techno- human-demon hybrid. Xander just hoped that the combining gave him enough connection to Dawn to pull off his plan.

"Dawn, can you deliver a message for me?" Xander said, continuing without waiting for her nod. "Tell everyone I love them, except Spike. Tell Anya that I'm sorry but she was right. Tell Willow that she's my best friend and I'm glad she got Tara back. Tell Giles that the idea I had about Adam helped again. Tell Buffy that I wish her happiness, will miss her and that it's my turn. As for you, if you were eighteen I would have dated you in a second. I'll miss you, Dawnie."

While he was telling Dawn these things, the portal was widening and Buffy was getting closer to the top of the tower, and he knew that she would stop him. Xander ran for the portal a second before Buffy reached the platform and a second before Dawn realised what his words really meant. The sun cleared the horizon directly in front of Xander as he ran down the platform and he absently thought, 'Fitting' before he left the edge.

"Xander!" the two Summers' girls called out together as he jumped.

Xander's diver was like the swimmer he had pretended to be once in highschool, without the elegance that Buffy would have used. As he went through the energy field of the portal, Xander felt something shift and for a split second knew he had succeeded, that Buffy would not have to follow him.


Buffy ran hard, climbing the tower. She saw Xander pull Dawn away and was relieved, until she saw the portal open. Pushing harder to reach the top, she saw Xander talking to Dawn and had a bad feeling. As she reached the top, Xander ran for the edge and beyond Buffy's ability to stop him.

"Xander!" she called out reflectively as he jumped, not hearing Dawn call the same thing.

She saw his body enter the portal energy and a few seconds later the portal closed, leaving nothing behind of Xander, the bravest member of the Scoobies. As the portal closed Buffy felt crushed, almost as if she had died.

'He's gone! Xander's gone' her mind screamed.

In that instant Buffy had an epiphany. She loved Xander; she always had but had never acted on it because she did not want to lose him. Now he was gone and it gutted her. Buffy broke down and cried, crying harder when Dawn told her what he had said. After a while the Summers sister, leaning on each other, slowly made their way down the tower stairs. Buffy had always though that Xander was the useless member of the group, now she knew better.

The Scoobies had changed forever, changed from their original dynamics. Giles and Willow had always formed the brain, the knowledge and magic of the group. Buffy had always been the backbone and the muscles, the strength and stamina of the group. The extra members like Oz, Tara, Riley, Cordelia, Angel, Anya and Faith had filled in other roles or helped the core members with their function. Xander however, had taken upon himself the hardest role, never complaining or receiving any assistance.

Xander had been the Heart and Soul of the group, lifting sprits and reminding the Scoobies what they really were fighting for, ordinary people like him. Now that was gone. When Buffy and Dawn reached the bottom of the tower the surviving members of the Scooby Gang looked at them and Buffy began crying again. Anya broke down, sobbing violently. Willow collapsed into Tara's arms, unconscious from the shock.

Tara stared into the distance in disbelief and Giles face was openly showing remorse and guilt at his failure to protect one he saw as his own son. Even Spike looked shocked and sad, though it was shock that Xander had the courage to do what he did. Even though there was no body, they all believed that Xander was, if not actually, as good as dead.

One week later, with the bright sun shining down, the Scoobies, except Spike, stood by Xander's grave, an artifice located under the braches of an old oak tree in Restview Cemetery, during the day, on of the prettiest spots in Sunnydale, due to the relative newness of the cemetery. His tombstone, plain marble, read:

Alexander LeVelle Harris
Dedicated Friend and Partner
An Anchor In The Storm, A Light In The Dark.
He Will Be Remembered.


Streets of Sunnydale, 2011

Buffy was patrolling, making her way over to the Restview Cemetery just after dusk, as she did every evening. Stopping by the huge oak tree, she knelt down and cleared a few leaves from the marble tombstone. Like every night, she read the last two lines and tears appeared at the edge of her eyes.

"I always did, I always remembered." She whispered.

Events of the last ten years swept over her. Her Staking Spike a few weeks after the fight with Glory because he had insulted Xander. Anya leaving Sunnydale, claming it reminded her too much of Xander, she now ran a successful business in New York with her husband. Buffy, Willow and Dawn had all grown much closer after the fight, they still celebrated his birthday.

Dawn had graduated highschool without trouble and was currently studying medicine at UCLA; she still kept in contact and came home for holidays, and Xander's birthday. Giles had returned to England about a year after the fight and was now a member of the High Council; he had instigated reforms within the Watchers Council which included the abolishment of the Slayer Rite of Passage. He still kept in contact with the old Scoobies.

Just before Giles had left, Willow and Tara had gotten married. Willow, still Buffy's best friend, now taught Sociology at Sunnydale University, having gotten a doctorate in Human Behaviour. Tara ran the Magic Box, which was still used for Scooby meetings, though the meetings had changed some. Buffy had officially retired as the Slayer about two years after the fight, having adverted a few more apocalypses.

She had retired because Faith had died and therefore another Slayer had been called. Faith had died during a prison riot, saving a dozen guards from a hundred angry prisoners. That new Slayer had not come to Sunnydale. An active Slayer had arrived about two years previously and Willow had been assigned as her Watcher, having gotten training from Giles before he left and through correspondence since.

The new Slayer, Justine, was currently a senior in the rebuilt Sunnydale high, and like Buffy, had a small group of friends who knew and helped her. Buffy herself had taken Xander's disappearance hard. She had never dated again, she even shunned Angel, her heart belonged to the man who should be in the grave before her. After graduating from university, Buffy had joined the Sunnydale Police and she was currently a detective. She used her police contacts and such to help the new Scoobies.

"Oh, Xand. I miss you so much, I should have recognised my feelings earlier." She whispered to the artifice as tears ran down her cheeks.

"Yes, you should have. Now you are going to die." A voice came from behind her.

Buffy spun to face the vampire who had spoken and found that he was not alone. There were a dozen vampires standing around her, most with grins on their faces.

"Dam, this is why I retired." Buffy muttered as she pulled out a Stake.

She began to defend herself, knowing she probably would not survive.

'Looks like I'm going to finally join you, Xand.' She thought as she dusted the first vamp and began fighting the second.

Suddenly a vertical slash of light appeared and seemed to turn into a door shape, slicing through and dusting two vamps. A tall man dress completely in black stepped through, drew a Katana style sword, with herons engraved on the blade, and began fighting the vampires.

Buffy could tell this man was a very good swordsman, decapitating three vampires in as many seconds. Buffy had staked the second vampire she was fighting and turned to see three vampire running at the black coated man explode, without anything visible touching them. The last two vampires tried to run but the man launched fireballs at them and they were incinerated. Buffy finally got a good look at the man after he sheathed his sword; she also noted the herons on the scabbard and handle of the sword.

The man was dressed in unrelieved black except at the collar of his buttoned up coat. On one side of his collar there was a small silver pin, shaped like a sword while a pin shaped like a dragon in gold and red graced the other side. His brown hair was held out of his hazel eyes by a braded leather headband. His expression was one of a seasoned warrior who had seen many battles; his eyes looked much older than his thirty odd years.

"Hello, Buffy." The man said, almost emotionlessly and with a slight, odd accent.

It was the voice that triggered her memory into recognising the man. Her eyes dashed to the grave and then back to his face.

"Xander!?!" she exclaimed.


Xander stepped through the Gateway and his Sunnydale instincts came flooding back, as he saw a blond woman fighting several vampires. Drawing his sword Xander began to kill the un-dead creatures, flowing from stance to stance.

He had released the weave for the Gateway as soon as he had stepped through but he held onto the Source. When he saw three vampires charge him, Xander channelled to make them explode. Xander channelled fireballs at the last two vampires as they ran. He released the Source as he sheathed his sword, causing some of the shadows to run together and losing the ability to see individual leaves at a few hundred yards.

Releasing the Source was like giving up on life for a pale shadow, until he saw the woman he had helped. He instantly recognised her; she had been in his dreams every night for fifteen years. Buffy had matured well, her figure was still petite and she was still a small woman but her beauty had grown. He had believed she was the most beautiful woman in the world when they were teenagers but compared to now, teenage Buffy looked awkward and miss proportioned.

Her hair was shoulder length, left loose and bobbed under at the back and her eyes still showed the mix of strength and innocence that he had fallen for all those years ago.

"Hello, Buffy." He said, genuinely glad to see her.

"Xander!?!" she responded a second later in surprise.

Xander nodded, he had noticed the glance to the gravestone and what the stone said.

"Good to see you again." He said staring into her eyes.

"You too! Where were you? How did you get back? We though you were dead. Why are you dressed like that?" Buffy started before Xander cut her off.

"Which of those would you like me to answer first?"

Buffy smiled, it was like he had never left, except she knew how she felt about him.

"Maybe we should go get the gang together. They'll all want to see you." Buffy said.

They walked through the streets of Sunnydale towards the Magic Box. Buffy was tense because she was with the man she love but had thought dead for ten years, Xander was tense because of years of warfare and because he could sense Buffy's tension.


Willow sat at the research table in the Magic Box, looking through the pages of old books. There was a new Big Bad, maybe even an apocalypse, and they did not know much about it. Tara was at the counter, searching the internet for any information she could find on the coming disaster, and occasionally casting glances at her wife.

Dawn, who was on vacation had come to see the old Scooby Gang and had decided to pitch in, looking through another old book. Justine and the New Scoobies, Nicholas and Sarah, were also at the table. Justine, a pretty brunet with a lithe figure, was looking bored as she looked through her book, while Nicholas, tall and well muscled with glasses and sandy hair, was avidly reading his.

"This guy likes beets." Sarah, average height with long brown hair, green eyes and a weird sense of humour, declared.

"Wrong apocalypse, sorry." Willow said, tossing Sarah a new book.

Sarah sighed and Willow shook her head. Sarah often reminded Willow of Xander, usually causing a pang of sadness, while Nicholas reminded her of herself at that age. Willow looked up when the bell over the door rang, expecting to see Buffy. Buffy did enter the room along with a tall man in black clothes about her own age.

"Hey, Wills, Dawn, Tara. Where's Giles'? And who are the new kids?" the man said.

"Xander!" Buffy yelled at him.

"Xander?" all the old Scoobies called at once and ran in for a group hug.

"Ladies, ladies, please, before I need to go have a cold shower." Xander said after a minute, giving his patented lopsided grin.

Buffy swatted him across the arm, Willow glared, Tara blushed, Dawn giggled and the new Scoobies looked confused.

"So, where is the G-man?" Xander asked.

"He's in England. I'll give him a call and tell him you're back. Where were you, anyway?" Willow said.

"Long story. Who are they?" Xander said indicating to the teens at the table.

"I'm Justine, the Vampire Slayer, and these are my friends, Nicholas and Sarah." Justine said.

"When'd Faith die?" Xander asked casually.

"About two years after Glory." Buffy replied.

Xander just nodded and Sarah's eyes lit up.

"You're that Xander. Goofy Harris, man, what happened to your clothes? You set a fashion trend in the alternative community a Sunnydale high." Sarah said.

"Zeppo?" Xander asked casually.

Buffy nodded and Willow giggled at the joke that Sarah did not get.

"I became an Asha'man and spent almost ten years on the frontline of a war that made World War One and Two look like a football game." Xander replied.

"What's an Asha'man?" Dawn asked, stumbling over the name.

"A warrior for truth and justice. Kinda like Buff, and Justine, but we're all men who can use a form of magic. So, what's been happening here?" Xander said.

Buffy, Willow and Dawn related the events of the last ten years in Sunnydale. Xander was happy for Willow and Tara, proud of Dawn and, as always, in love with Buffy.


Xander stood on one foot with his sword held above his head and sloping slightly downwards. It was a few hours since he had arrived back in Sunnydale and he was currently in the training room of the Magic Box. Buffy, Justine and Dawn sat in one corner, interested in what Xander was about to do. Xander stood perfectly still, striped down to his pants, his bare chest was well muscled and contained several scars from battle, some of them barely there, but several looked only a few weeks old.

Willow, Tara, Nicholas and Sarah had all gone home a few minutes ago, Willow having called Giles before she left. Giles would return to Sunnydale in a few days as he had Council business to attend to in England. Dawn was staring at Xander, thinking that he might have fallen asleep, while Buffy and Justine quietly talked when Xander suddenly and silently began to move.

The two Slayers instantly stoped talking and all three girls stared in awe. His movements flowed like a dance, smoothly moving from stance to stance and slowly increasing the pace. After a few minutes his moves became a blur and he showed no sign of slowing down. At one point a moth fluttered behind him and he spun, slicing it in half, and returned to his practice with a single flowing motion.

Xander's mind was almost blank, encased in the void, as he had been taught, but resisting the pull of the Source that shone like a pale light just over his shoulder. His senses had heightened but nowhere near the level they did when he was channelling, and his thoughts flickered across the edge of the void, mostly thoughts about Buffy. After almost half an hour Xander finished his sword practice, without slowing he flowed from a battle stance into sheathing his sword. Barely breathing hard, Xander turned to his bundle, previously hidden under his cloak, and put his shirt back on.

"Wow. That was cool." Dawn said.

"Thanks, Dawnie." Xander replied as he pulled on and buttoned up his coat, his body free from sweat. "So what did the Slayers think?"

Buffy and Justine stared at him for a minute and Buffy was about to respond but was interrupted by the front door to the shop being opened.

"Someone help!" Nicholas called as he entered the shop.

They all ran into the body of the shop and saw Nicholas laying Sarah on the table, she was bleeding badly from a gash across her stomach.

"Grab my bag. I don't know if I can save her, but I'll try." Dawn said and Justine ran for Dawn's medical bag.

"I'll take care of this." Xander said calmly.

Xander walked up to Sarah and laid his hands on the side of her head. Everyone was shocked as they saw Sarah's wound close, the tissue stitching back together, leaving no scar. Everyone, except Sarah, looked at Xander as if he had grown a third eye.

"Thank you." Sarah said weakly.

"No problem. You're weak. You need to eat as soon as possible and then rest." Xander replied. "What happened?"

"Vampire with a switchblade. I dusted him after he got Sarah." Nicholas replied.

"You trust me?" Xander asked Sarah and she immediately nodded.

"Where do you live?"

Sarah gave a rough description of where she live and Xander nodded. A vertical slash of light opened in the middle of the floor, away from everyone, and widened into a slightly wide door shape. Through the door everyone could see a porch and front door.

"That's Sarah's place." Nicholas said quietly.

"Be right back." Xander said as he walked through the Gateway carrying Sarah.

Xander carried her inside and was back out and though the Gateway into the Magic Box within a minute. The Gateway closed after Xander had returned.

"How long have you been able to do that?" Buffy asked indicating to where the Gateway had been.

"Over nine years." Xander replied, knowing what would come next.

"NINE YEARS! You could have come back nine years ago!" Buffy screamed, when she noticed the confused looks on everyone else's faces she continued. "That is how he returned. He made on of those door thingies."

"Gateway. I could and could not have returned. There was a war on and I could not leave till it was over. Just like I could never abandon you, Buff. I'm not built that way." Xander replied turning away slightly angry.

Xander stormed out of the Magic Box, moving quite fast.

"Justine, make sure Nicholas gets home alright. Dawn, you go home. I need to find him, I need ..." Buffy trailed off before moving to follow Xander.

'Fool.' Buffy mentally berated herself. 'You only thought of what you wanted. His loyalty and dedication is why you fell in love with him.'

Buffy ran through the streets of Sunnydale looking for Xander, for the missing part of her heart.


Xander stalked the streets. He was angry. Buffy knew he could never abandon a fight. He spotted some vampires enter an abandoned warehouse and smiled. Time to vent. Looking through the window he saw upwards of twenty vampires inside the warehouse. He removed his cloak and laid it and his bundle down before entering the warehouse. He emerged into the light, but for a second none of the vampires noticed him, until he cleared his throat. All the vampires turned to stare at the intruder, stunned that a human would enter their lair.

"Kill him." the leader casually commanded, unconcerned about one man, even if he appeared to have a sheathed sword.

"Let's dance." Xander said as he casually dropped into a fighting stance.

Xander began to vent his anger upon the vampires.


Buffy had caught sight of Xander as he approached the warehouse and saw him go inside. Just before she opened the door she heard him speak.

"Let's dance." His voice came through the closed door.

Buffy fling open the door and stared in amazement. She recognised his skill as a swordsman but was shocked by his skill as an unarmed fighter. He flowed through the twenty-three vampires, delivering sharp blows and crippling shots. The vampires attacked independently, ignoring each other in their attempts to kill Xander.

Xander struck the vampire almost at will, hardly ever getting hit himself, using a form of martial arts that Buffy had never seen before, suited to almost any type of combat and allowing a single person to fight one or multiple opponents at once. After a few minutes Xander managed to cripple or incapacitate all twenty-three vampires, and then he did something that confused Buffy.

He stood still, without dusting a single vampire, allowing them to mend their wounds. When they had recovered the vampires again rushed Xander, this time, however, he allowed them to come to him, not touching any vampire not within two feet of him. Lashing out co- ordinately with his arm and legs, Xander managed to keep an area approximate a foot in every direction clear of vampires, again performing moves that would cripple or kill a human but not kill a vampire.

Once again he was soon surrounded by crippled vampires and again he stood still in the centre of the warehouse. As the vampires began to rise to fight again, Xander sighed. He drew his sword and began to kill the vampires and had completed the task in well under a minute.

"Like the demonstration, Buff?" Xander asked, still standing with his head down, his sword almost touching the floor from the downward stroke that decapitated the final vampire.

"It was informative. Feel better now?" she replied from the doorway.


"I'm sorry, about before. I understand why you had to stay. You were always braver than any other Scooby. Need a place to crash?" Buffy said, trying to hide the hope in her voice.

"You sure you're boyfriend won't mind?" Xander said without emotion.

"I don't have a boyfriend. I haven't had one for ten years." she replied.

'Please Xand. Take a hint. I love you!' her mind screamed.

"Sure. Who better to crash with that you and Dawnie?" Xander said with a lopsided grin.

Xander opened a Gateway but instead of leading somewhere it lead to blackness. He stepped inside and a section of floor appeared, it looked like the floor of the training room in the Magic Box.

"Step in. I don't know this place well enough to make a direct Gateway, so we'll skim. It will take a few seconds." Xander said.

Buffy reluctantly stepped onto the platform. The Gateway closed and she could still see Xander and the platform even though there was not light. About two or three seconds after the first Gateway closed another opened at the other end of the platform, showing Buffy's veranda. Xander motioned for Buffy to move off and then followed her before closing this Gateway.

"Wow." Buffy said.

"Yah. I guess it is cool. No offence but you had to leave first. The platform only existed while I was there and there, if you fall you never hit bottom." Xander said before giving Buffy another grin. "Ah, Casa de Summers. How I missed thee."

Buffy laughed as they went inside to see Dawn sitting in the living room watching TV.

"Whoa, TV. I haven't seen TV in ten years. Anything good on?" Xander said.

"Nah, just the usual." Dawn replied absently, causing Xander to break out laughing.

"We'll, I'm whacked. Where can I crash?" Xander said when he stoped laughing.

"You can take my old room." Buffy said as she led him upstairs and started giving him the tour.

"I remember, Buff." He laughed.

'How could I ever forget anything about you?' Xander thought affectionately. 'You were always out of reach, maybe now I can have a chance to be with you.'

Xander looked around the room, it had been converted into a generic guest bedroom, and he still saw it as it had been on the first occasion he had ever entered it. Buffy's room, the temple of his Goddess. Xander flopped onto the bed and sighed.

"I'm back, but everything's different." He said sadly before he fell asleep.


Buffy could not sleep. It was two in the morning and she decided to get a drink. As she walked down the hallway from the main bedroom, she heard moaning in her old room. She slowly opened the door and saw Xander asleep, wearing what looked like white boxers he had thrown off the sheets and his body was covered in sweat. He was trashing and muttering in his sleep.

"Many. So many.... Ugh, no. Logain. Egwene. Trollocs. Cover the flank. Their breaking through. I'm sorry Buff." He muttered.

Buffy walked into the room and shook him awake. Xander's eyes snapped open, a picture of horror and Buffy slammed into the ceiling, her body immobilised by something invisible.

"Buffy. Oh Light." Xander said when he noticed her and she slowly floated back to the floor. "Are you alright. Blood and bloody ashes, I'm sorry."

"It's ok. You were having a nightmare." She replied.

"Yah. The wards can't keep out what's already in." he whispered, missing Buffy's confused look.

"War can be hell." Buffy said sympathetically.

"What the Pit of Doom do you know about war?" Xander said, angrily.

"Hellmouth for fifteen years, nightly battles." Buffy began but stopped when Xander snorted.

"You've never seen a battle, except the Initiative soldiers verses Demons, and that was a small one. I've seen battles where thousands have died in under two hours. I've seen millions of dead after a single engagement.

"I've killed hundreds of thousands of humans, because otherwise they would have killed me. I've killed millions of creatures that make vampires look like puppy dogs. I've seen whole nations destroyed and people butchered alive so that abominations can eat. I've done things that you can never imagine.

"For ten years, I brought grizzly death to all who stood in my way. I have done things that make Angelus look like a choir boy. I have brought more death than all the vampires and Demons on earth and I did it for one reason. Because the thing I was fighting was worse.

"You know nothing of war. In war there are the dead and those who will die tomorrow, that's all. We Asha'man have power, mostly the power to kill. It was what we were trained to do, and we did it well. Some of us began to revel in that power and joined The Dark One. I was lucky, I had a focus to keep thing in perspective...." Xander said sadly.

Buffy saw the horror and hurt in Xander's eyes. She knew that he had been through hell. He probably had to kill some of his friends that had switched sides. He had a strength that she had never recognised and a burden that could never be lifted.

"What was your focus?" Buffy asked, curiously.

"Some of the guys had wives or children. Others were totally dedicated to the cause, or to our leader. Mine was simple." He paused. "Mine was you."

"Me!" Buffy exclaimed, genuinely surprised.

Xander just nodded and Buffy pulled him into a hug.

"I had to get back to you." He whispered.

"You need to sleep." Buffy said a few minutes later, laying him down on the bed before moving for the door.

"Buff?" he said.


"Will you just lie with me?"

Buffy could hear the desperation in his voice.

"Sure." She replied.

Buffy lay on the bed next to Xander and put a comforting arm around him. In a few minutes they were both asleep with untroubled dreams.


"Wake up sleepyheads." Dawn's voice cut through to Xander's mind and he instantly awoke.

He opened his eyes and saw that he was in Buffy's guest room, with Buffy still asleep laying with her head on his chest and Dawn just skipping out of the door. Xander smiled as his body relaxed, for ten years it had been trained to be ready for a fight if woken. Oh his chest, Buffy stretched and straitened, moving her head to a pillow. As Xander stroked a strand of hair away from her face her eyes fluttered open and she smiled.

"Hi. I thought for a second that last night was a dream." Buffy said sleepily.

"Nope." Xander replied before moving in for a quick kiss.

When she felt the kiss, Buffy's eyes shot wide open, and she regretted it when he pulled away.

"Light, I missed you." Xander whispered.

"Not half as much as I missed you." Buffy responded.

Xander chuckled at this. Buffy rose and was almost out the door when Xander stoped her.

"Buffy. I want to ask you something. Light, ten years of practice and it's still hard. Buff, would you like to go out on a date?" Xander asked.

'Please say yes. Please say yes.' His mind chanted.

"I'd love to." Buffy responded before whisking out the door, leaving Xander to get dressed.



Xander walked into the kitchen and saw Buffy sitting at the table and Dawn at the island bench.

"Hey, Dawnie. How things been?" Xander asked.

"Not bad. Med schools cool." Dawn replied.

"How about relationship wise?" he asked as he sat opposite from Dawn at the island. "Boyfriend? Girlfriend? Both?"

"What!" Buffy said, joining them at the island. "Both?"

"Not really." Dawn replied when Buffy had finished.

"What's wrong with both? I knew a guy who was married to three women." Xander replied.

"What?!? Isn't that illegal?" Dawn asked.

"Not for him." Xander said, taking a spoonful of cereal. "Man, sugar rush, how I missed thee. What?"

"Three wives? What were they, chattel?" Buffy asked.

"Nope. They would probably kill you if they heard you say that, one defiantly would." Xander paused, and then continued when he got death stares from the Summers' women. "The guy, Rand, was the prophesised savoir of the world, and was hated for it. Long story. He was a Channeller, he formed the Asha'man.

"One of his wives, Aviendha, was an Aiel, a fierce warrior culture that lived in a scorched earth desert known as the Waste. The Aiel are the best fighters in that world and she was a warrior for years before she found out she could Channel.

"Another of his wives, Elayne, is an Aes Sedai, the female equivalent of an Asha'man but not trained to purely kill, and the Queen of Andor, a major country. His other wife, Min, can not Channel but she can see peoples futures some of the time and I hear she is very hand with her knives."

Xander smiled and continued to eat his cereal as Buffy and Dawn looked shocked.

"That's weird." Dawn said after a minute.

"Nah. His best friends are the luckiest man in the world, literally, who has thousands of years of memories in his head, married to the empress of a distant continent who originally wanted to kill everyone and a blacksmith lord with yellow eyes who can talk to wolves and is married to the daughter of a triple lord and cousin to a queen." Xander said casually.

Xander chuckled at the girls stunned expressions.

"You're pulling our legs." Buffy said.

"Nope. It's just you thought Sunnydale was the weirdest place and I proved you wrong."

"Well, I got to get to work." Buffy said looking at the clock.

She was waring soft, full length, black trousers, a white blouse and a light denim jacket. Under her jacket she wore a shoulder holster with a standard issue Police pistol in one side, with spare clips below the gun, and two stakes on the other.

"Mind if I tag along?" Xander said.

Buffy indicated that he should come and he followed her out. He was dressed in full Asha'man uniform, except the cloak and sword. They quickly made their way to the Sunnydale Police Station and Xander was signed in as a guest and Buffy showed him her work area.

She was the head of the Sunnydale Violent Crimes Task Force, known simple as the V Squad, for those who knew the truth the V stood for Vampire. She showed Xander around, even showing him the shooting range. Xander took a Glock from one of the weapons cabinets and looked it over.

"You mind?" he asked the weapons sergeant.

"Go ahead." He replied when Buffy nodded.

Xander expertly disassembled and reassembled the pistol before moving to the range. He quickly squeezed off three rounds at the human shaped target before returning the gun to the duty sergeant.

"Thanks." Xander said as he and Buffy left the range.

The sergeant retrieved the target and whistled. There was one hole through the target's heart and two through its head. A clean, professional kill.


Buffy lead Xander to the V Squad's briefing room, where the team had assembled.

"Morning everyone. Take a seat." Buffy said casually from the front of the room.

One of the officers raised her hand.

"Yes, Flores?" Buffy asked.

"Who's that?" Marie Flores asked, pointing to Xander, who had taken up position near the door.

"That is an old friend of mine. His name is Xander and he's been away for a while." Buffy replied.

"You knew the boss in the way back when?" one of the male officers said.

"Yah." Xander replied.

"Tell us some stories." Another female officer said.

"Got any advice?" Marie said.

"Hey, quiet." Buffy said from the front.

"I'm not big on the story department, but I will give some advice. Be careful about the power you use otherwise you could become the thing you hunt and some of the worst things imaginable have been done by humans who had a choice and chose to be evil." Xander said, speaking from personal experience.

This caused silence to descend upon the room. Buffy saw the pain in Xander's eyes and finally understood that he had seen far more than she ever would.

"Alright people, back to work." Buffy said, gaining everyone's attention. "So far, the Slayer and associates have not been able to come up with any information on this current threat. Over the last four days, somewhere in the vicinity of twenty people have gone missing, most of them from their own homes, ruling out Vampire activity as the doors appear to have been forced or broken down. From an eyewitness account there are multiple demons. They appear to be very large humans but are unnaturally strong. They also wear ceremonial headwear that imitate animal heads. We..."

"Wait a second." Xander interrupted. "Animal heads?"

"Yah." Buffy said. "That's what the eyewitness said."

"Let me guess. Approximately head and shoulder above anyone else in height. Each animal head was different and they spoke in a guttural language that no one could understand?" Xander said.

Buffy looked down at the report before looking up and nodding.

"Shit. Trollocs. Probably a score or a score and a half, and if they were attacking specific houses without rampaging then there has to be a Myrddraal. And a Channeller to get them here." Xander muttered to himself.

"Um, Xand. Mind filling us in?" Buffy asked.

"Ok. We have twenty to thirty extremely strong warrior who are combinations of human and animal stock, totally vicious and only interested in killing. At least one captain, looks human, dressed in black scale armour with black hair, no eyes and maggot pale skin, deadly swordfighter, can immobilise people with fear from a look.

"His sword is poisoned and his black blood can act like acid. You can chop his head of but he won't truly die until the next sunset. And at least one human magic user who will be extremely dangerous for anyone to face. In fact I'm the only person who as a chance of winning that fight." Xander explained.

"Um. Damn." Marie said in the silence that followed.